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Weeks: Making sense of Singh's lawsuit against the PGA

Bob Weeks
5/9/2013 10:47:11 AM
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I admit that when PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem cleared Vijay Singh of any wrong-doing in the deer antler spray incident, I expected the whole thing would just fall into the ether and be done.

That was naïve, I guess, because when it comes to the Big Fijian, you just never know what's going to happen.

Rather than accept his pardon and get back on the tee, Singh launched a lawsuit against the tour claiming the whole thing has left him "humiliated, ashamed, ridiculed, scorned and emotionally distraught."

It's left a lot of Singh's fellow tour players shaking their heads at his pursuit and opened up a great many questions about the tour's anti-doping policy.

In a nutshell, Singh's lawyers say the PGA Tour didn't do its due diligence in testing the deer antler spray used by the golfer, to which he admitted in January in a Sports Illustrated article. As a result, they suspended him (which he appealed) for no reason and tarnished his reputation. Singh had his antler juice tested and it came back showing it to be nothing much more than snake oil.

Maybe they should have tested it for logic impairment.

There's really no other way to try and understand why he would sue the tour for unspecified damages, a tour on which he's won some $67 million.

Oh and he also wants interest on his $99,000 in winnings that the tour has held in escrow since he appealed his 90-day suspension.

Imagine you're drowning in the ocean and a boat comes a long and the owner throws you a rope, saving your life. You don't then go and sue the owner because you got rope burn.

Just to show that he really wants to stick it to the tour, Singh dropped the suit during the week of its showcase event, the Players. No one is talking about the 17th hole at the moment; they're scratching their heads at just what Singh is attempting to gain, other than a bit more cash.

As crazy as Singh's suit is, it does show the tour to be lacking in its policies. According to the legal document, Mark Calcavecchia was using deer antler spray and even endorsing the company selling it but received no reprimand. Overlooking the fact that Calc may not be the best guy to be endorsing a product that would provide health benefits, you do have to wonder why he was given a pass.

The simple fact that Singh was handed a 90-day suspension when the tour's policy for admitted doping is one year shows the possibility of favouritism. Even the pass given to Singh after WADA removed the spray from it's banned list seems subjective. It was banned when he took it so the penalty should apply, no?

Singh, who hasn't spoken to the media since January, may have hoped this would snuff out any bad impressions the public may have had about him in regard to a performance-enhancing product. That could be true, but it certainly won't end fans' thoughts of him as a strange man with some vindictiveness running through his veins.

I can only imagine what the commissioner thinks.



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